Kate Middleton May Join Royal Events When She’s Able amid Treatment, Palace Source Says (Exclusive)

Kate Middleton will remain out of the public eye during her cancer treatment but may join in events when she feels able.

Palace sources say that would not necessarily signal a return to royal duties — that decision will rest on doctors’ advice. For now, Princess Kate’s focus is on her full recovery, with her family there to support her.

“She has the inner strength, the support of her husband and her extraordinary family, so she can focus on what’s important, which is her getting back to strength,” Ailsa Anderson, a former spokeswoman for Queen Elizabeth, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s cover story.

Those closest to the princess say they have every hope that when she is ready, she will return stronger than ever.

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“[The royal family] is vulnerable at the moment, and there will be an even greater appreciation that they are human beings with frailties like the rest of us,” says a former palace aide. “They are so dedicated to their roles. I think you will find when Kate makes a full recovery, she will come back even more passionate.”

At 42, the Princess of Wales is carrying an extraordinarily heavy weight on her slender shoulders: a scary diagnosis — she has not disclosed the type or stage of cancer but said it was discovered after her Jan. 16 abdominal surgery — along with the eyes of the world on both her health and what her illness might mean for the future of the monarchy.

But sitting in the garden of Windsor Castle last Wednesday, the same place where Queen Elizabeth had spent extensive time during her final years, Kate was focused only on sharing her truth in her own words.

In a vulnerable video message, the royal revealed that she had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The royal mom, so famous for her unerring poise, spoke about initially keeping the diagnosis private for “the sake of our young family,” her voice cracking at the reference to Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, whom she shares with Prince William.

Before a backdrop of yellow daffodils, often seen as a symbol of hope for those with cancer, Kate managed a hint of a smile as she said, “I am well and getting stronger every day by focusing on the things that will help me heal; in my mind, body and spirits,” mentioning she looked forward to returning to work “when I am able.”

To others dealing with cancer, she counseled, “You are not alone.”

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends a service to commemorate the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at St Davids Cathedral on September 8, 2023 in St Davids, Wales. Queen Elizabeth II passed away at her Balmoral Castle, her private Scottish residence, on September 8th 2022.

“She wrote the words herself and delivered it personally — she wanted to decide when the time was right to tell the world,” says her former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. “It is an incredibly important thing that she’s done. I thought, ‘This is our future queen — goodness, what courage!’ She showed remarkable composure given all that has been swirling around.”

In the days following the announcement, Kate and William resumed focusing on their children, who are currently on their Easter break. The Wales family will also skip tradition by opting out of the royals’ Easter services at St. George’s Chapel. Instead, they will spend the long weekend privately at home. The Prince of Wales, 41, will resume public duties after the children return to school on April 17.